'X Factor' Format Change Draws Complaints in the U.K. -- the Same Change Is Also on Tap for U.S. Version Guardian, THR
"The X Factor" has tweaked its formula, and it's not going over well with fans in the U.K., reports The Guardian, with some comparing the show to "The Hunger Games" book and film.
"The format change on the Simon Cowell show meant some contestants who thought they had made it through to the 'bootcamp' stage were ditched at the last minute in the shows broadcast live from Wembley Arena over the weekend," the story says.
The tweak, which took place over the weekend for the U.K. show, will be adopted by the U.S. version of the show in the coming weeks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Audience members chanted "seat, seat, seat" for performers they liked, or "swap, swap, swap," if they wanted the judges to replace a contestant.
One contestant, who thought she had made it to the next level, was "left in floods of tears when she was later replaced by another contestant," the Guardian piece notes.
The format tweak was disliked so much, with some calling it a "blood sport," that 30 viewers complained to network ITV by Monday morning.
"The new bootcamp twist brings genuine jeopardy to the competition and is just one of the ways the series has evolved this year," a spokeswoman for ITV said.
"X Factor" judge Simon Cowell defended the new twist.
"This is probably some of the most exciting TV we've made on one of these shows. It is dramatic, it is controversial, but we all love that," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
He added, "We thought we can make this bigger and better. It aired in England over the weekend and people went nuts -- half loving it and half hating it."